Is this too far?
Old 05-26-2009, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Is this too far?

Girl was taught to hate, court told

Parents counselled her minorities must die, social worker testifies

Steve Lambert

WINNIPEG — A young girl at the centre of a child custody battle was taught by her parents that minorities should be killed and was also exposed to violent, racist videos, a court was told Monday.

The elementary-school-aged child was familiar with Nazi phrases such as “Heil Hitler,” used racial epithets and would talk calmly about how black people could be killed, a social worker testified.

“She said you would whip black people with a ball and chain and they would die,” testified the social worker, who cannot be identified under Manitoba law.

The worker was the first witness at a trial that is to determine whether the province’s child welfare system will gain permanent custody of the girl and her pre-school-aged brother, who were seized from their parental home last year.

The social worker was called to the girl’s school after she showed up with white supremacist slogans written on her skin — writings which she appeared to understand fully.

“She told me that what people don’t understand is that black people should die,” the social worker said. “She stated that everyone who is not white should die.

“She said that white children are not safe because of `n--gers.’ ”

The child repeatedly used racial slurs about blacks, Asians, Arabs and other minorities during a 45-minute conversation, the social worker testified, and believed any visible minority was a threat to white children.

When child welfare workers visited the family home later, they found white supremacist paraphernalia. Court heard the children also had access to a skinhead website and were shown videos depicting racial violence.

The girl’s mother has denied teaching her children hatred.

In an interview with CTV Newsnet on Monday, she allowed there were “flags, banners, posters and stuff like that ... around the house” but denied teaching her children that blacks and other minorities should die.

She said she and her ex-husband, from whom she is separated, “weren’t exactly teaching them anything” other than to be proud of being Caucasian.

However, she said the children were curious and asked questions and she and her ex-husband didn’t hide their beliefs.

She said the children would grow up to be individuals anyway.

“You know, it doesn’t matter what our parents teach us. We’re all going to grow into our own individuals and we’re all going to make our own choices in life,” she said.

“You can’t sit there and tell a Muslim family that they cannot teach their children Muslim beliefs or they can’t teach them Islam because there are certain people who take it to an extreme. Just because certain people take white nationalism to extreme doesn’t mean that I am.”

The woman was not in court and her request for an adjournment though a lawyer was denied. The stepfather, who is fighting to regain custody on constitutional grounds, sat quietly, frequently biting his nails.

In court documents, the father argues the seizure of his children violates his freedom of conscience, belief and association under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“I believe that there is no legal basis for the children having been apprehended,” he wrote in an affidavit.

Manitoba Child and Family Services has cited other reasons for removing the kids — alleged drug use by the parents, unsanitary conditions in the home and a suspicion by school officials that the parents were paying teenaged babysitters with alcohol.

The man’s lawyer, however, suggested there is little evidence to back up those allegations, and accused the social worker of taking the children away simply because of their parents’ controversial beliefs.

“What (the girl) was saying to you was offensive to you,” the lawyer suggested to the social worker. “It’s not part of your belief structure, it’s not something you would teach your child.”

The worker responded by saying her prime concern was the calm, matter-of-fact manner in which the girl spoke of killing people on the basis of skin colour.

The case has garnered international attention and sparked debate over how far parents can go to instil beliefs in their children.

The court hearing is scheduled to run all week and for another week at the end of June.
Does the court and the Canadian government subsequently have a stake in this? Or should the parents (guardian) have legal say in this matter?
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)

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I think the parents should be "punished" for the way they're fucking up that kid's mind.

And yeah - the child is probably better off somewhere else where she isn't taught to be a hate-machine.

BTW. as an aside, it really pisses me off that the term skinhead has become synonimous with neo-nazism, racism, etc. Somewhere in history that subculture got heavily misrepresented.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When a child is young and subjected to those types of extemist beliefs they are brainwashed into believing it's the truth. The only chance for straightening that out is to remove her from that home. Otherwise she might very well end up being a danger to minorities and taking further action on her beliefs.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)

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the social worker makes two great points, i think:

1. the alarming thing was not the fact of racial intolerance, but the cold and calculating way that the child spoke of violence. stating, as a child, that everyone that is not white should die, and then describing what method of death would be used, is a concern, not only for public safety, but for the mental health of the child.

2. the child was also removed from the house because of excessive drug and alcohol abuse and because there was suspicion that caregivers were paid illegally with alcohol despite being underage. also, there is a claim that the house was significantly unsanitary.

now there is no doubt that the race piece was the catalyst, but children are removed from their homes quite often in Ontario for things like unsanitary conditions, drug and alcohol abuse and concerns over the mental health of both children and parents. this is, in fact, fairly routine, and it is being blown up into a much bigger thing because of the racism aspect.


all that aside, i believe that free speech is subject to reasonable limits (as eshrined in the reasonable limits clause of the charter), and to me, the indoctrination of children into violence and racial hatred is a perfect time to invoke reasonable limits. no, i don't believe they have the right to eductae their children that way, and yes, child services is acting appropriately, even if the other issues of cleanliness, drugs and alcohol were not present.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)

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An interesting Op-ed piece.

What kind of mother would send her child to second grade with a swastika on her arm – and then help her redraw it after a horrified teacher washed it off?

A clueless mother, to be sure. But an unfit one?

That's the issue at the core of a high-profile case that began 14 months ago, when social workers seized two small children from a Winnipeg couple. They felt that the children were at risk of “emotional damage” because of their parents' deviant beliefs.

The parents had a bunch of neo-Nazi paraphernalia in their home. Dad was fond of posting out-and-out hate speech on websites. Mom (who described herself at the time as a “white nationalist”) wore a swastika necklace. On the website, she allegedly described how cute it was to see the children goose-step. “It really is adorable, it's more fun when we're in the mall and I do it too.”

But now the father is arguing at a custody hearing that being a neo-Nazi should not disqualify a person from being a parent. He has also filed a lawsuit claiming that his constitutional rights to freedom of expression and to religion have been violated. He says he has “dedicated my entire life to being a skinhead.”

Drugs and alcohol may be other factors in this case, and the girl had missed a lot of school. The parents (now separated) seem to be as much white trash as they are white supremacists. Still, many people believe that their beliefs alone make them unfit to be parents. “Indoctrination to racial hatred and being a billboard for hatred is a form of child abuse,” says David Matas, legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada. “It marginalizes the child from society, and it has a lasting impact on character development.”

But, as always, the question is: What's deviant? Which ideologies are the taboo ones? And who decides?

“If you're going to target neo-Nazis who haven't actually hit or sexually abused their children, who's to say conservative Christian evangelicals aren't next?” Bill Whatcott, an anti-gay Christian activist, asked in an interview in the Winnipeg Free Press.

In fact, they have already been targeted. Seven years ago, child-protection authorities in Ontario seized the children of a family belonging to a tiny sect that believes in strict corporal punishment.

Some child-abuse cases are cut-and-dried. But some mirror the moral panic of the day. In Britain, the definition of abuse now extends to children who are overweight. Last fall, a six-year-old was taken into custody for being too fat and, according to the Daily Telegraph, obesity was a factor in at least 20 child-protection cases last year. “It is drastic, but it's a long-term therapy,” said a director of the National Obesity Forum. “For the sake of the children, it does need to be done because we have got children who are horrendously fat.”

Well, so do we. Unfortunately, if the state started apprehending all the children whose parents think that pop and chips are a nutritious diet, it would have no place to put them. The same is true of odious beliefs. Personally, I would like to apprehend girls whose parents give them lipstick when they're 7 and enter them in beauty pageants. Or how about the parents who have never read their child a book because they have never read one themselves?

There are many, many, many forms of child abuse, and helping your kid redraw a swastika on her arm is only one of them. The problem is that the state's cure can be far worse than the disease. Being separated from your mom and dad is hard, even if they do happen to be fans of some guy called Hitler.

Meantime, the swastika mom has distanced herself (both literally and ideologically) from her husband. She has given up the Nazi gear, and you get the sense that she would do pretty much anything to get her kids back. Helping her daughter redraw the swastika, she says sadly, “was the stupidest thing I've ever done.”
When bigots have babies - The Globe and Mail
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great parenting. The kid has to be taken away from her before she decides to give herself an ideological makeover.

One of the rare situations where the line between freedom of speech and speech that's taboo is blurred. It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to create legislation detailing what is allowed to be said and what is out of bounds.

Growing up we're all force-fed different values and belief systems, to the point where we believe in things we never really had a choice in believing in the first place. I grew up believing in Jesus because my parents are Christian, and while I've made the choice to continue believing in Jesus and practicing Christianity, things probably would have been very different if my parents were Jewish.

This girl has been brainwashed in the truest sense and again, she hasn't gotten to the point where she can choose otherwise. None of the things she's said are exaggerations, she honestly knows and believes these things to be true, which is the scary thing. Who knows, if she had the resources and the means to do the things she talked about, she very well might. Probably wouldn't bat an eyelash either.

In this case, public health and well-being is in jeopardy, which is why the government needs to step in.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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WOW, that is way too far. This way the kids are just following in there parents footsteps of hate. Why would a parent even do this.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:00 PM   #8 (permalink)

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it doesnt make sence to me why parents would raise their children to be complete sociopaths. everyone is entitled to their own beliefs (no matter how fucked up they are), but to instill such hatred and disgust unto a child is unthinkable.

that mother and father need to get pschiatric help... the daughter doesnt know any better... the parents are grown ups and should have some common sense, its as if they were planning to raise a racial killer.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's utterly amazing to me that these beliefs can still be fostered to be honest.

Decades ago I could somewhat understand the lack of understanding because you didn't have a lot of racial integration. But now? For God's sakes the President of the United States is a black man!

These stories nauseate me. I don't think that there's any doubt that Child Services should step in.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:22 PM   #10 (permalink)

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that is damage that cannot be repaired.
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